Lately, I’ve been falling back in love with my crock pot. I tend to use it in cycles – I go for months without thinking about it and then all of the sudden it becomes a near-permanent fixture on my counter top. I decided to lug it out recently to get better at using the many pounds of dried beans I have, one of my New Year’s cooking goals. The wonderful thing I’ve discovered is that there’s no need to pre-soak the beans!
I’ve been cooking different kinds of beans overnight in the crock pot, then leaving them in the garage until I get home from work (it’s been cold enough for that lately!). When I get home, I use them in soups, salads, or to make veggie burgers. This recipe came about in a slightly different way…snow days!! Stuck inside for days, I was craving chips and dip. I wanted something hearty, warm, easy, healthy, and spicyish. Refried beans sounded perfect, and would make a dent in the 5 lb. bag of dried pinto beans I’ve got…bulk buying!